Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Dolphy; Melvin Lee; Loren Legarda; Eric Quizon; Jeffrey Quizon; Andoy Ranay; Ricci Chan; RS Francisco
Director: Gil M. Portes
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family
Tagalog with English subtitles. Walter Dempsey Jr. a gay man in his twilight years, grew up in the war-torn Philippines during WWII, a time of great unrest and injustice. Watching a harrowing film on Filipino "comfort wome... more »
A First Class Movie About Yet Another Abberation Of War
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MARKOVA: COMFORT GAY is a finely wrought film based on a true story about one Walter Dempster, Jr. who 'served' as a gay equivalent to the Comfort Women for the Japanese during the occupation of the Philippines during WW II. Written by Clodualdo Del Mundo, Jr and Directed with great tenderness and skill by Gil M. Portes this 'biography' begins with the main character Walterina Markova (played with grace and delicacy by Dolphy - also known as Dolphy Quizon) living in a retirement home for gay men in Manila. He is elderly but still elegant. A TV program about the Japanese presence in Manila in WW II captures Walterina's attention when the use and abuse of Comfort Women (women who acted as prostitutes for survival) is shown. This strikes his memory of his hidden secret that he served in the same capacity - as a cross-dressed 'Comfort Gay' for the Japanese soldiers' use. He decides that telling his story will help old wounds heal and begins an interview with a TV reporter, an interview which amounts to his story from childhood to the present. Director Portes cleverly intermixes the childhood portion (Walter is played here by Jeffrey Quizon) with the present and finally concentrates on Walterina (now played by Eric Quizon) as he has developed into a cross-dressed member of a group of five friends who begin to appear at the parties the Japanese officers throw. At first the group is brutalized when it is discovered they are anatomical men, but soon their services as cross-dressed Comfort Gays allows them to be performers and a means of support during the war. By the time Walterina tells his story to the interviewer, most of his old friends are gone. By interweaving the various scenes with placing the elderly Walterina side by side with the remembered younger forms, the resulting story is mesmerizing.
The cast is excellent: of interest the director has chosen two sons of actor Dolphy Quizon to play his younger versions, Eric and Jeffrey! The camera work is adept and the lighting and musical score enhance what could be a depressing movie, instead making it a tenderly told bit of Philippine history. Recommended on many levels - as history, as gender studies, and as an empathetic moment of truth that is very touching indeed. In Tagalog and Englsh with subtitles."